California is a diverse state that offers the opportunity of a better life for many immigrants. While Californians without full citizenship enjoy some of the same rights and liberties US citizens do, they are held to stricter standard of conduct. Even California residents with green cards or with work visas are subject to deportation if they act out of conduct. When your very immigration status is at stake, breaking the law becomes all the more serious. Unfortunately, many immigrants aren't aware of the effect certain criminal convictions can have on their immigration status. Too many face deportation because they did not know what the consequences of their actions would be. One of the types of crimes that can trigger deportation is domestic violence crime. It is possible for you to get deported for a domestic violence conviction.
Domestic violence is considered a crime of moral turpitude. These crimes typically harm other people and the public good. They can also include crimes involving fraud, deceit, or theft. If you commit a domestic violence crime, or any other crime of moral turpitude within five years of arriving in the US, you could face deportation. You can also be deported if you commit two of these crimes at any point during your time in the US as long as they were not part of one criminal act. You can even face deportation for violating a domestic violence restraining order. To better understand what a domestic violence crime is it is helpful to understand the legal definition of domestic violence in California. Domestic violence is defined as abuse or violence directed towards someone like a spouse, intimate partner, cohabitant, the parent of your child, someone whom you have or are dating, engaged to, or otherwise involved with, or someone you are closely related to through blood or marriage. Abuse can include anything from physical violence, psychological tactics to control, harassment, stalking, making threats, or harming their children, pets, or property. Since violent crimes and crimes that harm other people are considered crimes of moral turpitude, any act of domestic violence can leave you facing deportation. This is unfortunate because too often domestic violence charges are filed based off of false information or weak evidence. You can also be deported for most drug offenses and aggravated felonies.
Speak with an experienced California domestic violence defense attorney right away if you are an immigrant and facing domestics violence charges. You may be able to apply for an INA 212h waiver to keep your green card after committing certain offenses that would normally deport you. While an immigration attorney can help you understand how your status may be affected and how to understand the frequently changing immigration laws in California, only a skilled criminal defense attorney can give you the best chance at fighting your specific charges. Domestic violence crimes are unique in that they are aggressively prosecuted in the California criminal justice system. Dedicated prosecution units ensure defendants don't fall through the cracks in the system. This means that once charges have been filed, you could be up against a fight. A skilled criminal defense attorney with sufficient domestic violence defense experience may be able to help you defend yourself in court and get your charges dropped or reduced to something that is not a deportable criminal offense. Domestic violence defense takes a certain level of skill that an immigration attorney may not have. In certain circumstances, a domestic violence charge can be challenged because of lack of evidence or due to false allegations. It is not uncommon for people to be wrongfully convicted of domestic violence crimes based off of false allegations, even more so when deportation is the intended result. A good attorney can spot the weaknesses in the prosecution's argument and challenge any false allegations. Only by having your domestic violence charges dropped can you be ensured your status is protected.
If you are in the Visalia, Hanford or Tulare area and are facing domestic violence charges, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens is here to help you. Criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens will advise you on how your charge may affect your immigration status. Attorney Martens has handled thousands of cases over a span of ten years of dedicated criminal defense practice and can fight hard to defend your rights. Contact attorney Christopher Martens for experienced criminal defense counsel today. Contact our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.